Cover of ‘medical doctor’ blown; slapped with GH¢600k cost

A legal action taken by a self-acclaimed medical doctor has given him away and he would have to part with a total of GH¢600,000.00 to the six defendants.

Richard Kwadwo Owusu Nyarko, the plaintiff, who was seeking damages ofGH¢5,000,000.00 against the defendants for defamation, ended up having to pay the cost of GH¢100,000.00 each to the six defendants.

He was seeking an order declaring that the defendants had defamed him and thus harmed his reputation as a medical doctor. But a Kumasi High Court has dismissed the plaintiff’s action with a total cost of GH¢600,000.00 against him.

The presiding judge, Justice George Krofa Addae, explained the courts position that the plaintiff sought to claim GH¢5,000,000.00 from the defendants if he had won the case, hence the cost of Gh¢100,000.00 to each of the defendants to defray their legal fees and the period the case travelled.

Richard Kwadwo Owusu Nyarko, the plaintiff, claims to be a Senior Medical Doctor at Patasi South Hospital. He claimed in his statement that he is a Registered Licensed Senior Health Practitioner, a member of the European Health Association, a Trainee Doctor with the Accra College of Medicine and also current Chairman of the Kumasi Club, with a Bachelor’s Degree and Dual Master’s Degree qualifications.

The plaintiff submitted that he has acquired a training certificate in occupational Health from the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons and has started a part-time Doctoral (PHD) in Health care programme with Ghana Technology College.

It was also the case of the plaintiff that he is also a renowned Health Research Scientist who has published many Academic and Professional Journals, locally and internationally.

On May 26, 2020 he initiated action against the defendants, claiming an order, declaring that the defendants had defamed him and harmed his reputation, an order directed at the defendants to retract and apologise for the said defamatory statement or comments through a publication in a newspaper of National Publication, preferably the Daily Graphic, as well as restrain the defendants from ever defaming him.

Counsel for the defendants, Lawyer Asante Krobea and Kennedy Kwarteng argued that the plaintiff indicated on his application form, when he joined the Kumasi Club in 2012, that he was a Medical Doctor.

They submitted that, on becoming the Chairman of the Kumasi club, he wrote letters to Banks to inform them that the signatories to the club’s account has changed, hence new signatories had become necessary, following the formation of a new management Committee.

As result, in all correspondence the plaintiff prefixed the word ”Dr” to his name and subsequently gave out business cards to members of the Club on which he described himself as the Director of Health Services at Family Tree Medical Centre, with Dr. prefixing his name.

The defendants claimed they became suspicious of the plaintiff’s academic and professional qualifications following the conduct and bragging of the plaintiff on video, that he is a qualified Medical Doctor and had a license to manage several hospitals.

As a result, a section of the members of the Club petitioned the Trustees to investigate the veracity of the information he provided, following which it was established from investigations at the Kuntenase Hospital where plaintiff alleged he practiced, revealing that, plaintiff was not a Medical Doctor at that Hospital.

Another investigation by the Trustees at the Ghana Medical and Dental Council revealed that the plaintiff’s name could not be traced in their Register. The Trustees also found out that the plaintiff was arrested in 2014 by the police and charged with the offence of impersonation, forgery and false pretence to be a Medical Officer.

That it was further discovered by the Trustees that when the police arrested the plaintiff they found a stamp on him with an inscription ” Dr” Richard Kwadwo Owusu Nyarko (Senior Medical Doctor),  Kuntenase Hospital.

That the police arraigned him before court, the defendants case was that after all these investigations the Trustees found out that the plaintiff was in fact not a Medical Doctor as he claimed to be. The Defendants stated that following the outcome of the investigations the Trustees convened a meeting to inform all the club members that the plaintiff was not a Medical Doctor but a fake or quack Doctor.

According to the Defendants, having seen  the plaintiff  to be dishonest, there was the need to remove him as Chairman and also to revoke his membership, upon which the Trustees finally informed its members on their Whatsapp Group platform that the plaintiff is in fact a fake Doctor and that his conduct was dangerous to  the members and society and directed that nobody should consult him again as a medical doctor.

The court, however, deduced from the case of the plaintiff and the defendants that the plaintiff’s use of the title ”Dr” and presenting himself to the Kumasi Club Members was a misrepresentation.

The court also contended that whatever words which the Defendants used to describe the Plaintiff were true because he mispresented himself  to them (defendants) emphasising in the circumstance  the defendants were justified in using the alleged words on the Plaintiff and therefore cannot be held to be liable to the case of defamation and therefore not actionable.

As a result, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s case an awarded cost of GH¢100,000.00 to each of the defendants to offset their legal fees.


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